Story of the Week
THE STANLEY CUP
The Stanley Cup is the most valued prize in hockey. It has had a host of amazing adventures since it was donated by Lord Stanley of Preston, then governor general of Canada, in 1893 to symbolize hockey supremacy in Canada. The original Stanley Cup saw lots of action during its 75-year tenure.
In 1905, when the Cup was much smaller than now, it did survive a drop-kick by a member of the champion Ottawa Silver Seven onto the ice of the Rideau Canal in Ottawa. Later, the fledgling NHL took control of the trophy.
The original Cup, too brittle to sit atop what is now a large trophy, is displayed in a former bank vault in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. To preserve the original, it was replaced by an exact replica in 1967. Both versions of the big prize have participated in assorted hi-jinx.
After the trophy’s night on the Rideau Canal, Harry Smith, a member of the Ottawa team, took it home, put it in his closet, and forgot about it. It didn’t come out until the Montreal Wanderers defeated Ottawa in 1906, and asked for the Cup.
The Montreal Canadiens had a 1924 cup victory celebration. Somehow, the Cup was abandoned en route from the Windsor Hotel victory party to the home of owner Leo Dandurand. The latter was incensed when the Cup could not be found. The team was told to ‘find it right now’, and they did. Dandurand was able to drink from the Stanley Cup.
King Clancy, keeper of the Cup after his Ottawa Senators won it in 1927, used it to store letters and bills. Not exactly the utmost of respect for this prize.
In a 1961 playoff series, the Cup was on display in the lobby of Chicago Stadium, where the Blackhawks were beating the Canadiens. A Montreal fan smashed the case, and tried to escape with it. His explanation was that he wanted to return it to Montreal where it rightfully belonged.
In 1970, the Stanley Cup was stolen from the Hockey Hall of Fame. Police recovered it undamaged. Later in the decade, Guy Lafleur of the Canadiens put the Cup in his parents’ yard, treating it as décor for same.And Clark Gillies of the New York Islanders took the trophy home and placed dog food in it to allow his pet to celebrate their win as well.
Next time you watch an NHL championship team skate around the ice with the Stanley Cup held high, remember that the trophy’s adventures are more than likely just getting started.
Last Week’s Trivia
What quarterback has led the most fourth quarter comebacks of 10 or more points in NFL history? It’s Vinny Testaverde. One of them was the game two years ago in which the Jets came back from a 30-7 deficit to beat the Dolphins 40-37 in overtime. That game was recently voted the greatest game in the history of Monday Night Football.
Trivia Question of the Week
Let’s talk about what MVP really means? This pitcher’s team finished that season with a 59-97 record. Yet he finished the year with a 27-10 record, winning almost half his team’s victories, started 41 games, completed 30 games, had a 1.97 ERA, pitched eight shutouts, pitched 346 innings, and struck out 310 batters. Who did it and when? See next week’s Sports Junkie for the answer.